Statement from President Sara Diamond on the Creative City Campus

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dear Members of the OCAD U Community:

 At 4:45 p.m. on Friday afternoon, OCAD University received the devastating news that the government of Ontario has withdrawn provincial funding for the Creative City Campus (CCC). We are unwilling to accept this as a final decision. 

Ontario’s competitiveness depends on OCAD University’s talent. Our institution delivers practical, technical, creative learning to fulfil the needs of Ontario’s labour market. OCAD University students get jobs and create jobs.

The Creative City Campus has been in planning for more than a decade and will add approximately 50,000 square feet of new space and 95,000 square feet of renovated and repurposed space, a step towards addressing OCAD University’s critical need for an expanded campus.

Since we launched the project in 2016 with a provincial commitment of $27M, we have been successful in raising private, federal government and institutional funds to match this funding. As a result, the Creative City Campus project is already underway.

We have been in ongoing communication with government to reinforce the value of OCAD University to the Province and we are shocked at this decision.

There is no better, concrete example of our vision for the future of OCAD University than the Creative City Campus, and our supporters continue to share this vision. Together, we will explore all possibilities as we determine our way forward.

In the near term, we will consult with the university’s Board of Governors and key stakeholders to establish a set of next steps that supports the continued transformation of OCAD U. We will remain unwavering in our commitment to strengthening our role as the largest and most comprehensive Canadian university of art, design and media.

We will keep you informed as new developments emerge, and as circumstances determine the need for community input and recommendations.



Sara Diamond
President & Vice-Chancellor

New Graduate Student Travel Fund

Graduate Student Travel Fund
Monday, March 26, 2018

The Office of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce the introduction of the new OCAD University Graduate Student Travel Fund!

This new fund will create a more equitable framework (open to all graduate students across all graduate programs) and with three deadlines annually will create a more balanced approach than the current first-come, first-served funding option.

While many university graduate student travel funds are limited to dissemination (e.g. conference or symposia), the nature of our programs suggests that students would benefit significantly from travel that allows them to do research as well. Rather than create two separate entities, we have determined to use a single fund for ease of operation and distribution. This new fund will be designated exclusively to student travel related to research and dissemination; we anticipate being able to support between 25 and 35 applications annually.

To get things started, we are launching the first competition today (March 2), with a deadline of March 26, 2018. All students who are planning conference or research travel in the next six months are encouraged to submit an application. Principal Advisors and graduate faculty members should also encourage their students to consider applying to the fund in support of their students’ research.

The guidelines and application procedures for the new Travel Fund are available here.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Graduate Studies Officer, Anne Ahrens-Embleton at


Grant Writing for Graduate Students

Grant Writing Workshop 2017 Promo Image
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

This hands-on workshop facilitated by Dr. Lynne Milgram will provide research proposal writing support for your upcoming CGS-M (SSHRC, NSERC) and Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) application(s). Please come prepared with specific questions related to your research projects.

Please RSVP to For further details about scholarships and funding please see our website here

Venue & Address: 
205 Richmond St. W., Room 510

External Funding Workshop for Graduate Students

External Funding Workshop Promo Image
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Interested in applying for CGS-M (SSHRC, NSERC) and/or an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)? This session will provide students with further information about competitions, timelines and best practices. These are prestigious awards, and all full-time graduate students are encouraged to apply.

Please RSVP to For further details about scholarships and funding please see our website here

Venue & Address: 
205 Richmond St. W., Room 510

President Diamond's statement on Budget 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

OCAD University congratulates the federal government for its support of research, skills and innovation with a variety of measures that will ensure that the Canadian economy remains internationally competitive and that innovation is inclusive. 

 “OCAD U is pleased to see the budget recognize the strategic importance of design and creativity. Design is a source of economic value and social good, raising firms’ profitability and productivity while contributing to national economic competitiveness and performance,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “Design thinking and creative imagination are critical to experimentation and the development of new services, products and business methods. We will work with our partners in industries across Canada and with our university colleagues to ensure that design and design thinking can reinforce the success of all clusters through the Canadian Design Initiative.”

The focus on industry-driven partnership-focused superclusters, and investment in Mitacs internships will provide OCAD U students access to experiential learning in important sectors of the economy. This helps our students gain key innovation skills while applying knowledge learned in their programs, and ensures our graduates will be able to find meaningful employment. 

The focus on creativity as a driver for inclusive innovation will ensure that the social and economic development of Canada benefits from the diversity we are known for, while supporting varied approaches to emerging industries. OCAD U commends the budget's measures to address gender inequity in emerging technology sectors. 

Our faculty collaborate with many industry and community partners, and we welcome the further development of Canada 150 Research Chairs, funding for the National Research Council and the development of a national Artificial Intelligence Strategy. The budget provides funding support that will strengthen our leading research in digital technologies, big data visualization, Smart Cities planning through urban and cultural analytics, design for health and other design research.

OCAD U endorses the federal government's investment in Indigenous student access to post-secondary education and measures to strengthen the Canada Student Grants and Loans system. 

The Department of Canadian Heritage’s new investment of $300 million for Cultural Spaces Canada will be a tremendous boost to our emerging artists and innovators, allowing them new and improved space to connect, collaborate and engage with the public. 

OCAD U graduates work in every sector of the economy, providing much-needed creativity, technical skills and design thinking. As Ontario’s only and Canada’s largest and most comprehensive art, design and digital media university, OCAD University promotes art, design and media research as providing significant value to the provincial and national economy. 




Imagination Catalyst Fund announces investments in TranQool and Wishpad

Photo of TranQool, Wishpad and the IC Fund Committee
Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 5:15pm

Imagination Catalyst Fund directors John Albright and Jeannette Wiltse, both of Relay Ventures, celebrate with Michael Nurse, CEO of Wishpad, and Chakameh Shafii CEO, Saaed Zeinali VP Business Development, and Babak Shahabi VP Product, TranQool.

TranQool, a mental health platform, and Wishpad, a real estate media company, received investments of $40,000 each from the Imagination Catalyst Fund this month. Both companies will use these funds to gain traction with early users as they prepare for raising seed capital in 2017. 

“OCAD U is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets,” said Relay Ventures Founder and Managing Partner, John Albright when Relay Ventures $1million investment helped launch the Imagination Catalyst Fund in 2014. “We are excited to be tapping into the university’s design expertise through these investments.”

TranQool is an online platform designed to disrupt the mental health marketplace. The service matches users with the right therapists and facilitates secure video sessions from the comfort of home.

Wishpad is a big-data driven media platform that curates listings and other content for prospective real estate buyers based on their values, lifestyles and priorities.

Imagination Catalyst is OCAD University’s entrepreneurship and commercialization hub. The goal is to apply design thinking to make lives better, create richer cultural experiences and bring leading-edge innovations to market. The Imagination Catalyst Fund offers seed funding for early stage, pre-revenue technology companies and is exclusively for companies participating in the OCAD U business incubator.  

For more information about companies participating in the Imagination Catalyst incubator, please contact Katherine Roos, Executive Director.

Your Future at Stake: Canada’s Federal Election and the Arts

Tuesday, October 7, 2008 - 9:00pm to 10:00pm

“...ordinary people...” don’t care about the Arts
-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

The facts:
- The Harper government has just cut $60 million from Arts and Culture funding
- Harper wants to stop artists he sees as "people with narrow ideological agendas"; "people who are rich celebrities"; "really very fringe groups"

How does this affect YOU?
- Less Support for Emerging Artists
- Fewer opportunities for Canadian Artists & Designers to work on an international scale
- A displacement of Canada's long-time standing as a centre of creativity
- Less funding for Art & Design Galleries and Centres
- An undoing of networks of exchange in the creative industries
- Significant job loss in Canada's strong Arts & Culture economy



Find Out More! OCAD hosts an Artists and Designers Town Hall

with Special Guests: The Department of Culture (

You have the right to vote if you are:
-a Canadian citizen
-at least 18 years old on election day (October 14, 2008).

If you have not yet received your Voter Registration Card, it is easy to register. Find out how at

Venue & Address: 
Room 327, Level 3 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Internal Deadline: SSHRC Standard Research Grant Final Application

Friday, May 23, 2008 - 12:00pm to Friday, September 26, 2008 - 9:00pm

Final applications to Research Office for Standard Research Grant

Internal Deadline: SSHRC Standard Research Grant First Draft

Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 12:00pm to Friday, August 1, 2008 - 9:00pm

First draft of application submitted to Research Office.


Internal Deadline: SSHRC Standard Research Grant Revised Draft

Friday, May 23, 2008 - 12:00pm to Friday, August 29, 2008 - 9:00pm

Revised drafts submitted to Research Office.